8 reasons you should buy Fitbit’s $200 smartwatch instead of an Apple Watch

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Buying a smartwatch these days is anything but a simple process.

On one side, you have the Apple Watch, the undisputed queen of the smartwatch category and the best-selling watch in the world.

On the other side, you have a wide array of smartwatches that work with various platforms and at all price points. There’s the vast lineup of watches running Android Wear, as well as heavy-duty devices from companies like Garmin and Samsung.

But in recent months, a new competitor has arrived on the scene: the Fitbit Versa, a $200 smartwatch aimed at the everyday consumer. The Fitbit Versa is the closest thing the Apple Watch has to a real competitor, and it’s an excellent watch in its own right.

So while there are plenty of reasons to love the Apple Watch, here are eight reasons to choose the Fitbit Versa instead.


1. The Fitbit Versa is significantly cheaper than the Apple Watch.

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Fitbit

The Fitbit Versa costs $200, while the Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329.

That said, the Apple Watch Series 1 costs $250. It’s still $50 more than the Fitbit Versa, but it’s the closest thing to an “entry-level” smartwatch Apple offers.


2. The Fitbit Versa is smaller than the Apple Watch.

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

The Fitbit Versa is 24 mm wide and 24 mm tall, making it slightly smaller than the smallest available Apple Watch, which is 38.6 mm wide and 33.3 mm tall.

A smaller watch may not be important for everyone, but the Fitbit Versa does fit better on women’s wrists.


3. The Fitbit Versa has better battery life than the Apple Watch.

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Fitbit says the Versa can get up to four days of battery life. In my tests, I got almost five full days on a 90% charge.

The Apple Watch, on the other hand, gets only about 18 hours of battery life.


4. The Fitbit Versa has fewer apps than the Apple Watch.

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

The Fitbit Versa has only a handful of apps preloaded, and none of them are messaging, email, or traditional social apps. Instead, it has things like Starbucks, as well as weather- and meditation-related apps.

You don’t even have the option to load on Gmail or Twitter, meaning you’re not constantly being pelted with notifications or distracted by frequent buzzes on your wrist.

Apple, on the other hand, is slowly paring down apps on its watch – third parties are also choosing to discontinue their apps – but you still have the option to be inundated by iMessages and emails.

Again, it’s all personal preference, but for me, the fewer apps on a smartwatch, the better.


5. The Fitbit Versa can track your menstrual cycles.

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Fitbit

Fitbit says women’s health tracking is one of the most requested features from Fitbit users, and it introduced it on the mobile app and the Versa earlier this month.

People can now use the Fitbit Versa watch to track where they are in their menstrual cycle, check when to expect their period, and keep tabs on their fertility.

Apple does not offer a similar service for the Apple Watch.


6. The Fitbit Versa has built-in sleep tracking.

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Fitbit

Fitbit has a feature called Sleep Stages that lets you keep track of how well you’re sleeping if you wear the watch at night. You can also set a sleep schedule, track your awake time, and check your sleep averages over time.

While there are several third-party apps for tracking sleep on the Apple Watch, Apple does not make a sleep-focused app for it.


7. The Fitbit Versa has an SpO2 sensor, meaning it could eventually track conditions like sleep apnea.

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Fitbit

The Fitbit Versa – and last year’s watch, the Fitbit Ionic – have an SpO2 sensor, which measures blood oxygen levels. While it’s not able to track health conditions like sleep apnea quite yet, the possibility is there.

The Apple Watch has plenty of built-in sensors – including a heart-rate sensor, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope – but no other advanced health-tracking ones.


8. If you change your mind about the Versa, Fitbit offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Fitbit gives you 45 days to return the watch if you decide you don’t like it and offers a one-year limited warranty on the device.

Apple has a much shorter return window of 14 days, though it does offer one perk Fitbit does not: You can trade in an Apple Watch for an Apple Store gift card to use toward a new device. If it’s not eligible, Apple will recycle it for you.